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“The writing’s on the wall, lit morning and night.” Rattling through Philadelphia’s subterranean corridors, “haul[ing] a bagful of anthologies from place to place,” a teacher grapples at a culture that will not lift. By Sebastian Agudelo.


“Love / Is quick and murderous, bleeding // Proof of talent,” writes Jericho Brown in this tender and terrifying poem about our violent legacies of gender and sex.

Famous Men, Real and Imagined

In an excerpt from Mr. West, Sarah Blake treats Kanye as subject, muse and audience, while Jill McDonough‘s “Oh, James!” makes 007 into an icon of his many eras.

Superstition Freeway

“A tired voice we don’t remember fills us/ With its story half buried and held many exits away.” Circling over familiar roads and persistent appetites, a spare, sad, beautiful new sequence from Miles Waggener makes room for ghosts.

from In a Landscape

“We’re both happier this way, making these things/ real, because someday we won’t be.” Pulling meaning from contingency, John Gallaher composes a heartbreakingly sweet essay in verse.


“I cover it with a variety/of cloths, on which I like/to watch the material world/settle: leaves, dust,/the wings of flying insects.” G.C. Waldrep tells the story of a man and his machine, harnessing memory, appetite, and imagination.

Elegy with Television

Haunted by the sense that there could be “some molten soul inside/the finite ways skin rides the bone and bone/pulls skin across it,” Peter Campion composes a beautiful and intricate elegy led on by appearances.

from The Boss

“Who owns the land owns the buildings on the land owns the people in the/buildings unless an earthquake sucks the land in like a long noodle.” A vital new collection from Victoria Chang lines up the forces against us.

Short Takes on Long Poems, Volume 4

Reginald Gibbons, Darcie Dennigan, Carl Phillips, Jane Hirshfield, Garrett Hongo, Daisy Fried, Debra Allbery, Solmaz Sharif, Devin Johnston, Patrick Rosal, Karla Kelsey, Sebastian Agudelo David Yezzi, and Peter Cooley weigh in (briefly) on their favorite long poems.

Short Takes on Long Poems, Volume 3

V. Penelope Pelizzon, Michael Collier, Peter Streckfus, Afaa Michael Weaver, Wendy Willis, Ed Skoog, Lia Purpura, Jeff Dolven, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Anna Maria Hong, Katie Peterson, and Catherine Theis weigh in (briefly) on their favorite long poems.